It seems as though there is a great deal of questions these days about the future of not only the American economy but the global economy as well. As everyone knows there has been entire countries like Greece in 2009 that went bankrupt. My goodness, and entire country folded up financially. These are dire times we live in with a seemingly gloomy future.
The below link is a good read that gives what I feel are viable ideas of how the future of the metal trades industries will go.
It makes sense to me that lighter materials will be favored as much as possible. It also makes treat sense that the automation field of welding will be a place to look for work. With shielded metals causing a great deal of smoke and particulate pollution, it seems as though the MIG, and TIG fields of welding process may make a strong push for the future. One thing I would present to you about this question is to keep in mind all the pipeline and plant work that will always need someone to at least man the automation if not weld the entire process out manually.
We saw the age of riveting fade off the seen and give way to better processes like bolting and welding. When it comes to high pressure lines and piping I personally don’t see getting totally around human efforts to make the connections happen.
I have done orbital welding and used machinery to actually do the welding but I still collected a check while setting up and operating the equipment that may have replaced one or two people.
Anyway, the bottom line is this: there is going to be a growing need for people to take up the craft of welding so the main structure of our world can be glued together by someone that knows how to welding and fabricate.